Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist

Catholics and some Protestants believe that the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ. What they mean by “real presence” is the presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine that we then eat and drink.

That represents too narrow a view of Christ’s presence, however. As Fr. Lawrence Mick points out in Worshipping Well, the Second Vatican Council reminds us that

Christ is present in the Eucharist in at least four ways: Christ is present in the assembly – “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst” (Matt. 18:20). Christ is present in the priest…in the words of God…And…in the bread and wine shared in the Eucharistic meal. But the first and most fundamental presence, the presence of Christ in the assembly itself, is all too often overlooked. We do not seem to be very good at recognizing Christ in one another.

Fr. Mick suggests that part of our narrow focus is the result of a training that focused almost exclusively on the presence of Christ in the form of bread and wine. But he suggests that “part of the problem also seems to be a lack of awareness among many of the faithful of the dignity of their own status as baptized members of the body of Christ.”

Most Catholics, he suggests can easily see the priest as a minister of Christ, but are less quick to “expect Christ to be present through themselves or their fellow parishioners.” They forget that “Christ has chosen to be present in the world through them.”

Christ is present in bread and wine, yes, and I don’t at all want to minimize that. But we can focus too heavily on that – seeing Christ in the tabernacle or in the bread and wine we receive at Mass – and failing to recognize Christ outside of the bread and wine. That is a failing we need to work hard to rectify so that we can more fully be the means of Christ’s presence in our daily lives.


One thought on “Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist

  1. I would like to start by asking you two questions. One: Can you can give an accurate definition of the phrase: “Lamb of God”? We all know that this is one of the names used for Jesus, like Messiah, Savior, Son of Man, or Christ.

    But exactly what is the importance of the name “Lamb of God”? And why is it important to me as a Catholic? The second question I would like to ask you is: Why the Catholic Church would offer The Holy Eucharist every day at every Mass throughout the world in over 3000 languages.

    What knowledge do they have that would make them feel compelled to do this for thousands of years? In answering this question, we’ll see why the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.'” (CC 1324)

    For more information on Jesus New Covenant and how everything ties together — Passover Meal -> Manna -> Prophecy of the New Covenant — go to The 4th and watch the video! You can also read along while the video is playing.

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